Whip Up a Wildscape!

Native plants often fare better than non-natives – especially when enduring weather extremes. While using native species definitely helps our pocketbooks, there is another benefit to drought-tolerant plants: they’re wildlife-friendly!

The first step in creating any new wildscape is taking inventory of what you already have. You may have excellent butterfly and song bird plants, and not realize it. To help identify what plants you have, visit WaterSaver Lane at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Keep these other tips in mind when designing your wildscape:

  • Consult Texas Parks and Wildlife for additional plant ideas.
  • Reduce or eliminate grass areas (they’re not beneficial to wildlife).
  • Think layers – group short, medium and tall plants for a tiered effect.
  • Add a water source – preferably moving water.
  • Select plants that bloom in different seasons so food is available year round.

After you’ve created your wildscape, go online to find out if it qualifies for the state’s Texas Wildscapes certification.

Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson is a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you’re likely to find him hiking San Antonio’s wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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